Cooking Training Can Reduce Salt Levels in Chinese Take-out Meals

by Adeline Dorcas on Jun 1 2018 10:36 AM

Cooking Training Can Reduce Salt Levels in Chinese Take-out Meals
Chinese dishes have high levels of salt contents. Cooking training for Chinese take-out chefs and restaurant owners can help to reduce the excess sodium content in the foods they serve with no substantial loss of taste, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in Public Health Reports.
A research team from Temple University's Center for Asian Health investigated the effectiveness of a sodium-reduction training intervention, "Healthy Chinese Take-Out Initiative," which trained chefs from 206 Chinese take-out restaurants in the low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Initiative included:
  • professionally led, culturally tailored training on healthy, low-sodium cooking
  • low-sodium cooking materials such as recipes and measurement spoons
  • a citywide mass-media campaign on sodium reduction
  • annual one-on-one booster training and compliance checks

  • The researchers monitored the sodium in three popular dishes - shrimp and broccoli, chicken lo mein, and General Tso's chicken - in 40 restaurants and found significant reductions in the sodium content of all three dishes 36 months after the initial training intervention.

    "These findings demonstrate the feasibility and potential benefits to population health of a coordinated partnership among public health agencies, academic institutions, and community businesses and organizations to reduce sodium in restaurants," wrote the study authors.

    The authors added that more research should be done on the subject examining the effects of the intervention in other types of restaurants, such as delis, buffets, or pizza shops.